Russian skating fans rejoice – the International Skating Union has granted 2006 Olympic champion Evgeni Plushenko an exemption to compete at the European Championships in January. Under the current rules, skaters competing at the major ISU championships (Worlds, Europeans, and Four Continents) must have attained a minimum score in an ISU competition this season or last season.
Twitter @examinerskating | Facebook
Related: Assessing Plushenko’s Position
The ISU regulation is as follows:
To be entered into and participate in the Championships/Preliminary Round of a Senior ISU Championships a Competitor/Couple must have reached in an ISU recognized International Competition (as per Article 38, paragraph 7 and Rule 107, paragraphs 1 to 9) during the ongoing or immediately preceding season the applicable minimum Total Technical Scores (points). The applicable minimum Total Technical Scores shall be decided for each season by the ISU Council based on a joint proposal from the respective Technical Committee and the Sports Directorate and shall be published in an ISU Communication.
Because Plushenko has not competed since Vancouver, he did not have a score in an ISU event either this season or last season, making him ineligible for Europeans. Note that this regulation is for a minimum technical score – it is designed to create a threshold of technical competence to maintain a adequately high level of skill even amongst the lowest-performing entrants.
The minimum technical scores for the men this season are 20 points for the short program and 35 points for the free skate. For reference, Plushenko’s technical scores at Russian Nationals were 42.30 in the short and 77.77 in the free skate.
Of course, there is no doubt of Plushenko’s technical ability. Some will definitely say that rules are rules and Plushenko should not be exempt from them. But how silly would it be for the ISU to deny him entry to Europeans based on a rule that was created to weed out skaters who aren’t technically adequate?
The 2012 European Figure Skating Championships takes place from January 23-29, 2012, in Sheffield, Great Britain. Plushenko is slated to be up against the best in Europe, including former World champion Brian Joubert, defending European champion Florent Amodio, former European champion Tomas Verner, teammate and World bronze medalist Artur Gachinski, and breakout star of the season Javier Fernandez.
Follow Jackie for breaking news on Twitter or on Facebook. Keep up with the latest results and analyses of the national championships around the world, including U.S. Nationals and Canadians in January, by subscribing for the latest news.
More Figure Skating Examiner news